One musician’s struggle to save the distinctive culture of Sri Lanka’s Portuguese Burghers
Musicians / Researchers / Scroll.In

One musician’s struggle to save the distinctive culture of Sri Lanka’s Portuguese Burghers

Earl Barthelot loves a good Portuguese Burgher wedding. There is always feasting – keep an eye out for that wild pork curry – and singing and dancing. The women in their flowing, silken gowns, and the men, all trussed up in formal suits, mirror each other’s movements as they dance the Kaffringha, their quick steps … Continue reading

‘I am drawn to terrifying things’, says the novelist who feels squeamish seeing his name on his book
Scroll.In / Writers

‘I am drawn to terrifying things’, says the novelist who feels squeamish seeing his name on his book

Chhimi Tenduf-La was anxious about dengue even before the current epidemic in Sri Lanka reached its height this June. With 80,000 cases so far, and hospital wards overflowing, he felt his heart sink when his paediatrician reported they were turning away children simply for a lack of beds. Tenduf-La’s concern is overwhelmingly for his kids. … Continue reading

Sri Lankans grapple with transitional justice mechanisms
Activists / Lawyers / Researchers / Scroll.In

Sri Lankans grapple with transitional justice mechanisms

  Sri Lankan activists will tell you that the island has a commission culture. In the last 15 years alone, people have stood up and testified before dozens of committees – some, such as the Udalagama Commission, investigating human rights abuses, and others, such as the Mahanama Tilakaratne and Paranagama Commissions, looking into abductions and … Continue reading

Nayomi Munaweera: ‘I couldn’t have written those hard scenes if I’d had a natural child in my life’
Scroll.In / Writers

Nayomi Munaweera: ‘I couldn’t have written those hard scenes if I’d had a natural child in my life’

Though she had been to many book clubs since the publication of her novel What Lies Between Us, Nayomi Munaweera found her heart sinking when faced with the newest group. Sitting around in a circle, waiting to discuss her novel were nearly 50 women, all mothers with children who attended the local elementary school. She … Continue reading

Shyam Selvadurai, Jean Arasanayagam, Nayomi Munaweera: Writing the 1983 riots
Academics / Scroll.In / Writers

Shyam Selvadurai, Jean Arasanayagam, Nayomi Munaweera: Writing the 1983 riots

The ethnic riots of 1983 were not the first in Sri Lanka. Nor were they the last. But Black July was indisputably a seismic event in this country’s history. Its echoes are everywhere, but some of my most meaningful encounters with it have been through the island’s literature. From the warmth and innocence of Funny … Continue reading